Publishers Perspective

Chad Koenen

The older I get the less I enjoy going outside when temperatures dip 30 degrees below zero. Last week’s temperatures was about as much as I could take, especially when the dogs need exercise and the kids want to play outside on our sledding hill.

Not everyone is quite as boring as I am in the winter months. A few years ago Dani showed the girls and myself how to turn boiling water into snow (I have lived a sheltered life and have never seen that before). The Internet has made several of these new fads easier to locate online. These challenges can make even the coldest days a bit more entertaining, even for technology challenged people like yours truly. 

While I don’t do the Tic Toc, which I guess is a great way to find some of these challenges (I struggle with Facebook and I think I have Instagram but have never used it before), I was able to locate several fun things to do in the winter when it gets cold outside. 

A new one that I heard about last week was the frozen spaghetti challenge. All you need to do is boil some noodles and when it is extremely cold outside, you can put the noodles on a plate, roll them into a fork, lift the fork up. Eventually the noodles will freeze into place. The end result will be a fork with noodles suspended in the air. This can also be done in a slightly different way with eggs. 

Another cool thing, which is not exactly new, is frozen bubbles. When soap bubbles freeze on contact with a surface, they usually pop. However, when temperatures are cold enough, they will freeze in mid-air and form crystal patters on the surface. When the bubbles hit a surface, it’s possible to have them land and slowly deflate. 

A quirk of extremely cold weather is “square tires.” Cold air decreases the air pressure in your tires and that decrease in pressure can cause tires to flatten slightly, leaving the side sitting on the asphalt looking like a pancake. Typically the tire heats up once you are moving, but until that point you could hear a few thuds when you are driving down the road. 

A few fun winter activities that you may want to enjoy includes Skijoring.

Skijoring is mushing behind a couple of dogs across the snow, while a musher rides on a pair of skies. Think water skiing on the snow behind dogs. You can also do this behind a horse and get going pretty quickly across the land. 

I don’t know about your dogs, but if I were to try this with mine it would end in me either doing the splits since they would run in the opposite direction, or I would most likely go nowhere as they never do exactly what I want them to. 

Don’t have a horse or dog at your disposal? How about trying ice sailing? The name says it all, you need to have a sleek sailboat mounted on runners, which glides across a frozen lake or pond. There may be some skill to do this properly, which means I’m likely out, but you can basically try to sail across the frozen waters of a lake.

One last unique “sport” is shovel racing. All you need to get started is a hill covered with snow, thick snow pants and a shovel. You basically go sledding on a shovel, instead of a sled or tube. 

In competitions, shovel riders can reach speeds of more than 60 miles per hour after the proper wax is placed on their shovel. For those who want to try this sport, don’t use a sharp shovel as that just seems reckless.